One of the main responsibilities of a nursing home staff is to administer prescription medications to the residents. With the possibility of overdosing or patients developing allergic reactions, there is no doubt that dispensing medication requires clinical staff to be patient and attentive.
Unfortunately, medication errors are a frequent and serious problem in nursing homes. According to the published study Quality and Safety in Health Care, there are an estimated 800,000 preventable medication errors made every year in U.S. nursing home facilities. Medication errors pose serious risks, especially to residents who have chronic medical conditions or are otherwise fragile due to old age.
If your loved one has suffered injuries arising from medication errors, you and your loved one may be entitled to seek legal recourse through a personal injury claim. A Kansas City medication errors lawyer can determine liability and build a strong case to support your claim.
Our legal team is ready to help you get the answers you need. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 for a free case evaluation.
Common Nursing Home Medication Errors
There are different categories of medication errors likely to occur in a nursing home, according to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention:
- Lack of Knowledge: These errors occur when there is a lack of knowledge that would affect how certain medication is administered. Such knowledge may include a patient’s medical history, allergies, diet, and other relevant medical information. For instance, if a staff member administers a painkiller unaware of the patient’s reaction to it, it could cause a knowledge-based error.
- Not Following Rules: These errors may occur when a nurse disregards certain medication regulations, perhaps due to lack of training, inattention, or simply negligence.
- Made by Mistake: These errors occur when a staff member has the right information and has good intentions in doing things the right way but inadvertently makes a mistake. For instance, when a staff member picks the wrong medication container or misreads a prescription.
- Memory Mix-up: These are mental mistakes that affect how a medication is administered. For instance, if a nurse fails to record that they had administered a certain medication and a second nurse ends up administering the medication to the patient for the second time.
While some of the mistakes do not necessarily involve malicious intent, most of them involve negligence on the part of the nursing home staff. These mistakes are indicative of a facility’s administrative or personnel training concerns.
Some of the common reasons why such errors are likely to occur may include:
Nursing homes are known to keep their staffing levels low to minimize costs. Some of them keep their staffing to dangerously low levels that do not allow them to provide the appropriate level of care to residents. Given that most medications are administered within a defined timeframe, overworked nurses are likely to make preventable medical mistakes.
Communication Problems and Inadequate Information Flow
Information is critical in a nursing home facility. When there is a lack of accurate and well-documented communication between nurses, doctors, and pharmacies, nursing home medication errors are highly likely to occur. Also, a lack of an organized, comprehensive database containing each patient’s medication schedule may contribute to medication errors.
Insufficient Staff Training
Undertrained nurses and other staff may lack the necessary skills and abilities to administer medication with the required precision. Nursing homes have an obligation to care for their residents, and so they may be accountable for any mistake under their care.
Effects of Medication Error on Nursing Home Patients
The effects of medication errors may vary depending on the type of medication. Some medication errors may cause minor discomfort. But other errors may lead to adverse effects such as paralysis, brain damage, heart attack, gastrointestinal issues, fluid imbalance, severe allergic reactions, and death.
We Can Help Prove a Medication Error Happened
If your loved one suffered injuries from a medication error, our legal team might be able to help you build a claim against a nursing home. We can begin by gathering evidence by reviewing the nursing home records and obtaining medical experts’ insight into whether a nursing home followed standard care.
Some of the common situations that we can help establish include:
- Administration of expired prescriptions
- Use of improper medication on your loved one
- Incorrect dosing or overdosing
- Incorrect administration of the patient’s medications
- Prescription medication given at wrong times
We can then work closely with psychologists and other medical professionals to demonstrate your family’s losses arising from medication errors affecting your loved one.
For a free legal consultation with a Medication Errors Lawyer serving Kansas, call (800) 794-0444
Compensation Available in Medication Errors Case
If the nursing home failed to follow the standard of care in administering medication to your loved one, there might be compensation available. You and your loved one may be eligible to recover damages such as:
- Medical bills related to the error
- Compensation for any future expense caused by the medication error
- Costs of medications
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of personal enjoyment
While there is no fixed amount of compensation that your loved one may recover, our legal team will work with experts from relevant professions to properly calculate the total losses you and your loved one may incur and pursue fair compensation.
If you lost a loved one as a result of medication errors in a nursing home, you might be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Just like in every other state, a time limit exists in Missouri. Under the Missouri statute of limitations, you must file your nursing home medication error case within five years from the date of the incident. Working with a Kansas City medication errors lawyer can help you avoid missing this important deadline.
Kansas Medication Errors Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Contact a Kansas City Medication Errors Lawyer Today
If your loved one was injured due to drug errors, it could be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, we can relieve some of your uncertainty by handling the case on behalf of you and your loved one. Connect with a team member at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm by calling (800) 842-6336 for a free case evaluation.